THE family of a Burnley woman who collapsed and died in the street said they are to continue their fight against the North West Ambulance Service.
Jacqueline Stewart, 53, died in October last year despite a desperate battle by her family to save her outside her Briercliffe Road home. An inquest into her death heard that Mrs Stewart’s family still disputed ambulance response times by NWAS.
One of Mrs Stewart’s three children, Emma, said: “The family went through our phone records. I was on the phone to my husband at 6.09pm and the first ambulance had not arrived at that point.
“We know that the times they say are not right and we will continue to fight for the truth.”
Family and neighbours made six 999 calls between 5.44pm and 6.11pm on the evening of October 17.
Peter Ballan, a sector manager at NWAS, told the inquest that the first Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) was despatched at 5.48pm and arrived on the scene at 6pm.
He also said that an ambulance, which was the nearest at the time, had been sent to the scene at 5.49pm, and arrived at 6.11pm.
He told the inquest that these figures were recorded by a tracking system on the vehicles, and by paramedics pressing a button to record their arrival.
Emma said that the RRV did not arrive until between 6.10pm and 6.15pm, and that the ambulance wasn’t on the scene until 6.25pm. The ambulance left the scene at 6.34pm and arrived at Royal Blackburn Hospital at 6.50pm and paramedics continued to try CPR on Mrs Stewart, although the family believe she had died on the street in Burnley.
Emma, who is a nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital, said: “I know that she had died in Burnley.
“I knew as soon as I saw her on the floor that she had died.
“From reading a paramedics report I know she had died then because it said her pupils were fixed and dilated. But the paramedics continued to try CPR when taking her into the hospital instead of telling us the truth.”
The inquest heard that Mrs Stewart had called her husband Phil at 5.42pm and said ‘I’m dying, I’m dying’ over the phone.
Pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud said that Mrs Stewart had traces of food in her larynx and had slightly higher than prescribed meditcation, including an anti-depressant and tramadol, in her system. Those drugs had caused a slight depression in her respiratory system.
Coroner Richard Taylor said that Mrs Stewart, who also leaves behind two other children, Kevin and Samantha, had not deliberately taken too many prescribed drugs. He said the ambulance time was not relevant to the inquest as paramedics would not have been able to save her as she died within a short time after collapsing.
The coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure.